**Disclaimer: Citing geospatial data can be complex and may not easily or neatly conform to standard citation structure. Examples below are based on citing data files in APA, Chicago, and MLA formats but may include other information such as retrieval URLs. It is good practice to confirm citation format and structure with course professor, instructor, TA, or advisor when possible.

Recommended Guides

APA | Chicago | MLA

APA Format

For more information on citing datasets using APA format, consult Purdue OWL and Concise Rules of APA Style

Geospatial dataset - raster (e.g.: DEM or air photo), vector (e.g.: DWG or shapefile) or LiDAR

Format

Author. (Date). Title [Data file]. Retrieved from URL.

APA Examples

City of Ottawa. (2015). Wards 2014 [Data file]. Retrieved from http://data.ottawa.ca/dataset/wards-2014/resource/8152e707-fc28-409c-9bb....

Natural Resources Canada. (2010). Orthoimages of Canada 2005-2010 [Data file]. Retrieved from http://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/d799c202-603d-4e5c-b1eb-d058803f80f9.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. (2010). Southwestern Ontario Orthophotography Project (SWOOP) - Imagery [Data file]. Retrieved from http://geo.scholarsportal.info/#r/details/_uri@=398424116.

Software

Format (further details from apastyle.org)

Author. (Date). Software name (version if applicable) [Software]. Publisher location: Publisher {if not downloaded from a website or not publicly available}.

Author. (Date). Software name (version if applicable) [Software]. Available from URL {if downloaded from a website and publicly available}.

APA Examples

Esri Inc. (2016). ArcMap 10.5.1 [Computer software]. Redlands, CA: Esri Inc.

QGIS Development Team. (2016). QGIS Geographic Information System (Version 2.18.13) [Computer software]. Retrieved from https://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html.

Chicago Format

Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition, chapters 14.7, 14.159-161, 14.207, and 14.257 were consulted.

Geospatial dataset - raster (e.g.: DEM or air photo), vector (e.g.: DWG or shapefile) or LiDAR

Format

Author. Title. File format. Last modified date {if available; if not, include date of access}. URL.

Chicago Examples

City of Ottawa. Wards 2014. Shapefile. Last modified January 3, 2018. http://data.ottawa.ca/dataset/wards-2014/resource/8152e707-fc28-409c-9bb....

Natural Resources Canada. Orthoimages of Canada 2005-2010. GeoTIFF . Accessed December 17, 2017. http://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/d799c202-603d-4e5c-b1eb-d058803f80f9.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Southwestern Ontario Orthophotography Project (SWOOP) - Imagery. JPEG2000. Last modified November 22, 2016. http://geo.scholarsportal.info/#r/details/_uri@=4163035098.

Software

Format

Author. Software name. Format. City: Publisher, Year Published. URL {if available}.

Chicago Examples

Esri Inc. ArcMap (version 10.5.1). Software. Redlands, CA: Esri Inc, 2016.

QGIS Development Team. QGIS Geographic Information System (version 2.18.13). Software. 2016. https://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html.

MLA Format

Consult Purdue OWL and Lansing Community College Library guides as well as MLA Handbook Chapter 5.7.18 for further information.

Geospatial dataset - raster (e.g.: DEM or air photo), vector (e.g.: DWG or shapefile) or LiDAR

Format (from MLA Handbook Chapter 5.7.18)

Author. Title. Publication {if applicable}. Publisher location: Publisher {if applicable}. Year. File type.

*Note: it is possible to shorten URLs if they are long or unwieldy

MLA Examples

City of Ottawa. Wards 2014. File last modified on 3 Jan. 2018. Shapefile. Retrieved from http://data.ottawa.ca/dataset/wards-2014 on 3 Jan. 2018.

Natural Resources Canada. Orthoimages of Canada 2005-2010. 2010. GeoTIFF files. Retrieved from http://open.canada.ca/data/en/dataset/d799c202-603d-4e5c-b1eb-d058803f80f9 on 17 Dec. 2017.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Southwestern Ontario Orthophotography Project (SWOOP) - Imagery. 2015. JPG2000 files. Retrieved from http://geo.scholarsportal.info/#r/details/_uri@=4163035098 on 22 Nov. 2017.

Software

Format

Author. (Date). Software name (version if applicable) [Software]. Publisher location: Publisher {if not downloaded from a website or not publicly available}.

Author. (Date). Software name (version if applicable) [Software]. Available from URL {if downloaded from a website and publicly available}.

MLA Examples

Esri Inc. ArcMap 10.5.1. Redlands, CA: Esri Inc. 2016. Software.

QGIS Development Team. QGIS Geographic Information System (Version 2.18.13). 2016. Software. Available from https://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html.

Content last reviewed: July 16, 2018